That Time the Postal Service Actually Used Gyrocopters To Deliver Mail

When a Florida mailman landed a gyrocopter with a USPS logo on the lawn of the Capitol today, I’m sure you were asking yourself the same question I was: Does the postal service really deliver mail via gyrocopter? Not today. But it turns out they did, back in the 1930s. » 4/15/15 7:57pm Wednesday 7:57pm

The Secret Lives of NYC Mega-Projects, Revealed By One Photographer 

The sprawling construction sites buried below NYC are carefully regulated places, inaccessible to the public. But one photographer has been exploring these caverns and tunnels for 15 years at the MTA’s request—and his work paints an amazing picture of life underground.
» 4/15/15 7:10pm Wednesday 7:10pm

A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Falling On Train Tracks

The number of deaths linked to drunk passengers who wander off the platform and onto the tracks has steadily increased over the years. But a new study of these falls shows that many of them occur in the same way—and that there might be a few simple ways to prevent some of them. » 3/30/15 11:26am 3/30/15 11:26am

Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:46pm 10/16/14 3:46pm

Explore the Largest Steam Pipe System in the World, Hidden Beneath NYC

In its latest adventure, New York Times' Living City series explores the city's enormous underground steam distribution system. Unlike anywhere in the world, New York hides away the largest steam system that powers all types of humidification sources, preserving museum art to even dishwashers in every restaurant… » 10/09/14 5:32pm 10/09/14 5:32pm

Toyota's New Transit Idea Is Like a Bikeshare for Tiny Electric Cars

Small, weird-looking smartcars are nothing new; there are plenty of them on the road, especially in cities where space is at a premium. But Toyota has launched something that makes great use of its zippy 3-wheeled i-Road vehicles: a new car-sharing service that integrates with a city's existing transit system. » 9/12/14 5:01pm 9/12/14 5:01pm

Americans Have Taken 23 Million Bike Share Rides and No One Has Died

With 36 cities across the country now hosting their own systems, bike share is almost becoming an American institution. According to a new report, it's estimated that Americans have taken 23 million rides since 2007 (wow!), but here's the most amazing part: Not a single death has been attributed to a bike share system… » 8/12/14 1:46pm 8/12/14 1:46pm

Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:44pm 7/17/14 4:44pm

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Scott Simon's bio on the NPR website describes him as "one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters," and it's tough to argue with that. As a Peabody-winning journalist with decades of experience, Simon's credentials are unimpeachable, and as the Saturday host of Weekend Edition, he regularly shows… » 7/07/14 5:32pm 7/07/14 5:32pm

Why Countdown Clocks for Pedestrians Actually Cause More Car Crashes

As a frequent traveler by foot, I love countdowns at crosswalks. They tell me whether I should wait out 2 seconds or leisurely walk across in 15. And indeed, these countdowns do make pedestrians safer. But it turns out that countdowns actually cause more crashes between cars. Here's why. » 7/01/14 4:34pm 7/01/14 4:34pm

Why Don't More Cities Have E-Bike Shares?

This week, Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system for its residents. It works just like a regular bike share, but better: An electric motor kicks in to help with pedaling, and most importantly, give you an extra push up hills. Why isn't this standard for bike shares… » 6/24/14 4:56pm 6/24/14 4:56pm